The bank of Agriculture was set up in 1974. it has its head office in kaduna state and has over 200 branches all over the federation.
It has changed names over a period of time since inception,from being formerly the Nigerian Agricultural cooperative and rural development bank (NACRDB) to its present day name of bank of agriculture (BOA).
The main objective of the bank still remains the same. This being granting soft loans to farmers at favourable interest rates and over a period of time. Since the discovery of oil in the 1970’s before which agriculture was the mainstay of our economy,which we seemed to have neglected.
The government has seen the reason to go back to the period preceding the oil boom era,due to such factors as the current continuous sliding of oil price in the international market.
We need to go back to the agricultural sector,inject life into it by providing funds to already farmers,help in their expansion,make them more mechanized, provide funds for the agricultural value chain as well as encourage people who are interested to come into agriculture.
The current rate of unemployment in the country has also supported this notion for more of our people to go into this sector.
The national objective being ensuring food security for our population and increasing the contribution of the agricultural sector to the gross domestic product (GDP).
Its pretty simple to get a facility from the bank of agriculture now,all you need do is walk into the nearest branch of the bank with the following:
There services comes in 2 folds,they ate explained as follows;
– individual account: here a farmer or an individual walks into any branch and asks to register under the individual account.
The individual then registers with the passport photographs and the sum of N2000. features of this account includes you will only be able to access funds or get agricultural loans after 3 months of registration. The highest sum disbursable under this account is N250,000.
The beauty of this account is that moratorium for the credit is a maximum of 6 months,interest rate is just 12%,maximum rapayment period is 24 months or 2 years as the case maybe.personal guarantee by 2 people is also required as opposed to collateral or some other form of security.
This type of facility is good for farmers who want to start up on a small scale,already practising farmers who want to upgrade or add to their farm stock.
-The corporate account: here a registered company or a registered business name will be registered with the bank.Registration will be with the sum of N5000 and pictures as well as identity cards of the directors of the company.Interest rate also charged on this account is at 12% like the individual one, but this account has an advantage that you can get any amount you require for your venture.
There is no credit ceiling with this type of facility. However also,you need to have collateral security or some form of collateral for the amount you require.
A moratorium of up to 6 months is also available on this account with a maximum payment period that can be restructured to suit the lender.
I would like to state categorically that the bank of Agriculture still remains the best lender of funds to the agricultural sector. it is not that commercial banks or microfinance banks dont give out agricultural loan packages which will make anyone wonder why the need for a specialised institution like the BOA.
The major thing that stands it out is the very low interest rate favourable to farmers as well as the moratorium given out.No commercial bank or microfinance bank will give you a loan at such interest rate or grant you such moratorium and make profit.
This is so since their own principal aim is to make profit regardless of whatever happens after the loan is given.Another distinguishing factor is that loans van be restructured to suit the farmer after a careful study od the farm yield and the utilisation of the said funds.
The bank of agriculture has continued to get partnerships with many state governments,with all most all the states in the south and with many in the north. These partnerships involves the state govt partnering with and them, releasing some funds to be managed by the banks exclusively for farmers and farming activities in their states.
Those is bearing fruit since more and more people have realized the benefits inherent in going into farming.some of the aspects of farming people can veer into includes poultry farming/egg production, piggery, snailery, fishery or fish farming.
Others include crops such as cassava, cocoa, cocoyam,yam, maize, rubber and so many others.some of these crops can even be well packaged, exported to other countries and foreign exchange earned.
Besides that, mora cassava farmers are even required in the country at the moment since the current cassava farmers don’t seem to be able to meet up with the cassava requirements of companies in our domestic economy.
A visit to a cassava processing plant in Agbara,ogun state recently called Greenlife ltd was revealing. the management said they were looking for more cassava farmers all over the country to supply yhem since the present ones cant meet up their daily demand.They had employed marketers to go deeper into the rural areas and look for more of them. This is just for one crop, cassava.
It is very easy now to get a bank credit from the BOA once the above mentioned steps have been followed.You must run the account continuous and form a good relationship with the staff of the branch you intend registering with as this will also go a long way in making it of ease.Many people have already taken advantage and many more are still taking advantage.
So I will urge any intending farmer and those who desire expansion to please walk into the nearest branch you can find.
In conclusion,agriculture remains one of the most rewarding ventures available.It has become sophisticated,& more mechanized since many people in the urban centres are averse since the picture that comes to mind when they hear agric is that of people working like slaves on the farmlands with little effort to show at the end. Every member of the country should do some part of agric they deem suitable..
The bank of Agric is there for you, all you have to do is walk in and take advantage of its services.